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October 17, 2012

Floyd Council working to trim 2013 budget

Final decisions expected Thursday

NEW ALBANY — The only decisions the Floyd County Council made Tuesday night at a special work session in regards to the 2013 budget was that more work is needed before it is sent to the state for approval.

The council entered the work session having to find ways to cut $150,000 from the general fund budget.

Director of County Operations Don Lopp and former auditor Teresa Plaiss have been working with Auditor Darin Coddington and his staff in preparing the proposed budget. Lopp said Floyd County expects to have $11 million in revenue, and another $4.4 million in CAGIT funds which have been moved into a separate account in 2013. After combining those accounts, that still left $830,000 in the general fund that needed to be cut.

Lopp and Plaiss proposed moving several items from the Floyd County Commissioners budget out of the general fund and into CAGIT. However, despite all of the maneuvering, there was still $150,000 left to cut.

Floyd County Council President Ted Heavrin said he was told by state officials that six county dispatchers salaries and benefits could be moved into the 911 account, which cuts almost $200,000 from the general fund. Another proposal offered was to move rent paid to Purdue University and contractual services out of the general fund, which could save $89,000. The county pays for office space for its extension service at the Purdue building on Charlestown Road.

Lopp also said the county may be paying too much in rent to the Building Authority for use of the City-County Building.

Those changes to the general fund budget will more than make up for the $150,000 in cuts needed. Salaries and pay increases to employees also have to be figured into the final budget.

Lopp, Plaiss and Coddington are expected to meet again today and make final recommendations to the council Thursday prior to a final budget vote at 5 p.m. at the Pine View Government Center.

“We will go through and double check the budget to make sure there are no duplications,” Lopp said. “We will run the numbers one more time and maybe find another $50,000.”

“If we make these changes we’ve talked about, it looks like the budget will work,” said Councilwoman Dana Fendley.

Heavrin said some county offices might have their budgets trimmed more, be given enough to get them through part of the year and have the opportunity to come back and ask for additional appropriations.

“That way they can get through four or five months and then they can come back and ask for more money,” Heavrin said.

Due to over-appropriations, the county’s rainy day fund is empty, and there are no guarantees how much, if any money will be put into the fund in 2013.

The budget must be sent to the state by Nov. 1.

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